Victoria University Antarctic Research Expedition Science and Logistics Reports 1980-81: VUWAE 25
The party had a compak radio and two VHF hand radios from NZARP, a USARP radio, three Japanese hand radios, two University hand radios, and two Lands & Survey pack sets.
The Compak was not air-lifted from Fang camp as intended, and was finally brought up on foot on 8 January.
The USARP set distorted our transmission so badly that we were never understood.
The Japanese, V.U.W. and Lands & Survey sets gave good local communication only.
C. Erebus telemetry recording equipment in the Science Laboratory at Scott Base. Mr. Takanami (left) points to the data recorder. MT. Estes (right) points to the telemetry discriminators below.
When the batteries were nearly all discharged (and the weather still unflyable) we requested permission to recharge them from our several accumulators. This was denied, and we lost contact with Scott Base at the very time we were completing the telemetry transmitters, and needed to know what was being recorded at Scott Base so that we could optimise the VCO amplifier gains.
The field assistant who had signed the receipt for the VHF radios would not agree to the electronics experts in the party connecting other batteries to them via the exposed terminals en the outside of the case. Days later, he admitted that he believed he was personally liable for any damage to the radio which might result, and would not accept the risk.
Possibly the wording on the receipt form should be changed so that personal financial risk does not overshadow the risk to the whole project incurred through lack of communications.